Difference in Philosophys

Food for thought.  Not saying this is factual or fictional.  It is possible?  HC has personal motives/agenda. Players/parents required to volunteer (yet mandatory) fund raising, working off school grounds, non-transparent bookkeeping, secret accounts, providing none or negative comments to colleges who are on HC sh*t list, public listing of which player participates, how much money brought into program by each player, during investigations by school district/law enforcement the "retirement" of entire coaching staff or individuals, multiple sports both girls and boys effected, possibly multiple schools with creative accounting.  Coincidental those on board with the "program" get to play.  Oh yes, for argument sake, a public school.  This has nothing to do with the character or talent of the player.  I'm just amazed how potentially one "outsider" can effect the future of an athlete.  I'm glad to know this never happens   

Trust In Him posted:

Food for thought.  Not saying this is factual or fictional.  It is possible?  HC has personal motives/agenda. Players/parents required to volunteer (yet mandatory) fund raising, working off school grounds, non-transparent bookkeeping, secret accounts, providing none or negative comments to colleges who are on HC sh*t list, public listing of which player participates, how much money brought into program by each player, during investigations by school district/law enforcement the "retirement" of entire coaching staff or individuals, multiple sports both girls and boys effected, possibly multiple schools with creative accounting.  Coincidental those on board with the "program" get to play.  Oh yes, for argument sake, a public school.  This has nothing to do with the character or talent of the player.  I'm just amazed how potentially one "outsider" can effect the future of an athlete.  I'm glad to know this never happens   

Probably not a path worth going down.   Its been discussed many many times on here.  But in general, yes there are bad HS coaches, just like there are bad travel coaches and bad bosses.  All throughout life you are going to encounter this.  Finding a way to rise above it is what separates most people apart. 

green posted: Here is a story of a talented player that feels he his getting the shaft in HS.  The player, a starting infielder, was suspended from practice for a week.  At that point, the team was a .500 club.  The less talented player that filled his spot fit well into the line up.  The team won their two games that week against teams they expected to lose against.  The more talented player never earned his spot back and the team went on a 5 game winning streak and in the end almost winning a very good HS division.  

The "more" talented player got spot time for the remaining season.  Every stat would suggest that the more talented player was better than his replacement.  He is a better fielder, hitter, stronger arm, and faster.  The reality is he is a crappy teammate.  He plays for himself, talks down to his teammates, and generally disregards the coaches.  

In essence, the team was better with a more talented player on the bench than on the field.  

What did that have to do with defining talent?

ironhorse posted: Because some decisions simply have to be subjective. That's the nature of decision making sometimes.

 Which is exactly why there are so many problems with parents or players questioning why they don’t get the same opportunities as someone else. When you say the best 9 players will be on the field but you refuse to say how you come up with the best, to me it’s either being disingenuous or being afraid to tell the truth for fear of controversy.

Stats4Gnats posted:

ironhorse posted: Because some decisions simply have to be subjective. That's the nature of decision making sometimes.

 Which is exactly why there are so many problems with parents or players questioning why they don’t get the same opportunities as someone else. When you say the best 9 players will be on the field but you refuse to say how you come up with the best, to me it’s either being disingenuous or being afraid to tell the truth for fear of controversy.

There is not a coach on this planet that will clearly define what best means.  So every coach in your opinion is being disingenuous or are afraid to tell the truth?  

Stats4Gnats posted:

green posted: Here is a story of a talented player that feels he his getting the shaft in HS.  The player, a starting infielder, was suspended from practice for a week.  At that point, the team was a .500 club.  The less talented player that filled his spot fit well into the line up.  The team won their two games that week against teams they expected to lose against.  The more talented player never earned his spot back and the team went on a 5 game winning streak and in the end almost winning a very good HS division.  

The "more" talented player got spot time for the remaining season.  Every stat would suggest that the more talented player was better than his replacement.  He is a better fielder, hitter, stronger arm, and faster.  The reality is he is a crappy teammate.  He plays for himself, talks down to his teammates, and generally disregards the coaches.  

In essence, the team was better with a more talented player on the bench than on the field.  

What did that have to do with defining talent?

He plays for a coach that says the best 9 players will play a majority of innings.  The point being talent trumps most but not all.  This player's character has such a negative impact on team chemistry that it negated his talent.  The stat coach used to justify it was the wins vs loses when he is in the lineup compared to when he is not.  

joes87 posted:

Just a quick story about doing what the HS coach says.  After being benched for two games with no explanation my son was put back in the starting line up.  He went 3 for 4 and promptly got a butt chewing after the game.  Turns out the coach does not like to play small ball and thats why my kid was benched.  The butt chewing was over situational hitting.  Coach would rather see the kids swinging for the fences then going opo or pulling the ball based on the situation.  Next game son goes 1 for 4 and I think "Thats it, he's out of the line up again".  Coach calls him over after the game and lets him know that he was impressed with his approach at the plate and appreciates the fact that he listen to him.  From that point forward he was cemented in the line up and did not come out of the game.

But for the fact your coach is a moron, you do what you got to do.

Golfman25 posted:
joes87 posted:

Just a quick story about doing what the HS coach says.  After being benched for two games with no explanation my son was put back in the starting line up.  He went 3 for 4 and promptly got a butt chewing after the game.  Turns out the coach does not like to play small ball and thats why my kid was benched.  The butt chewing was over situational hitting.  Coach would rather see the kids swinging for the fences then going opo or pulling the ball based on the situation.  Next game son goes 1 for 4 and I think "Thats it, he's out of the line up again".  Coach calls him over after the game and lets him know that he was impressed with his approach at the plate and appreciates the fact that he listen to him.  From that point forward he was cemented in the line up and did not come out of the game.

But for the fact your coach is a moron, you do what you got to do.

That coach isn't a moron. He understands that chicks dig the long ball. 

Stats4Gnats posted:

ironhorse posted: Because some decisions simply have to be subjective. That's the nature of decision making sometimes.

 Which is exactly why there are so many problems with parents or players questioning why they don’t get the same opportunities as someone else. When you say the best 9 players will be on the field but you refuse to say how you come up with the best, to me it’s either being disingenuous or being afraid to tell the truth for fear of controversy.

I think it is actually easy.  Coach has to figure out what tools he favors. Does he like speed and small ball.  Or is he looking for mashers.  Measure those measurables -- speed, veto etc.  Then put them in places to succeed. Speed in CF, and strong arms in cf and rf.  Athletic with a strong arm at SS. Etc. etc.  Coaches get in trouble when they don't do it somewhat objectively.  For example, our coach has decided he's going with a young underclassman at CF next year.  Good kid and that's probably his future.  But he doesn't have a varsity arm yet.  It will be a cluster as coaches take the extra base.  

Stats4Gnats posted:

ironhorse posted: Because some decisions simply have to be subjective. That's the nature of decision making sometimes.

 Which is exactly why there are so many problems with parents or players questioning why they don’t get the same opportunities as someone else. When you say the best 9 players will be on the field but you refuse to say how you come up with the best, to me it’s either being disingenuous or being afraid to tell the truth for fear of controversy.

I get your point, but I think that a lot of coaches (at least around here) don't refuse to say how they come up with it, it just not something easily defined. It is literally for me a case by case, kid by kid basis, i.e. why is this kid at SS, why is this kid in CF, why is the freshman playing over the junior, etc. I have concrete reasons for all of that and I clearly explain them to the kids, and at times to the parents. 

I think making it as simple as disingenuous or afraid is dumbing it down too much. You want to make it objective as possible, of course, but in this game it is never truly all objective.

The bigger piece of the puzzle to me about why there are "so many problems with parents and players" is that you're trying to demand the coach be objective about who plays, when there is approximately a 99% chance the parent isn't able to do the same thing. I say this from experience.

Golfman25 posted:
Stats4Gnats posted:

ironhorse posted: Because some decisions simply have to be subjective. That's the nature of decision making sometimes.

 Which is exactly why there are so many problems with parents or players questioning why they don’t get the same opportunities as someone else. When you say the best 9 players will be on the field but you refuse to say how you come up with the best, to me it’s either being disingenuous or being afraid to tell the truth for fear of controversy.

I think it is actually easy.  Coach has to figure out what tools he favors. Does he like speed and small ball.  Or is he looking for mashers.  Measure those measurables -- speed, veto etc.  Then put them in places to succeed. Speed in CF, and strong arms in cf and rf.  Athletic with a strong arm at SS. Etc. etc.  Coaches get in trouble when they don't do it somewhat objectively.  For example, our coach has decided he's going with a young underclassman at CF next year.  Good kid and that's probably his future.  But he doesn't have a varsity arm yet.  It will be a cluster as coaches take the extra base.  

I agree with your point in principle. We measure a ton of stuff for that exact reason. To me there are still a lot of "un-measurable" things that will happen with a player in a game, which is why a coach has to make a best guess based on complete skill sets as to who has the best chance to succeed in this spot and who gives the team the best chance to win. 

Things kids have to excel at that I have no way to truly measure objectively (although I've still try): Baseball IQ, dealing with adversity, responding to pressure, focus and re-focus, etc. Probably a lot more, but it's early for me.

This is a big fall for us trying to figure some of those things out for the Spring. Of course if a kid doesn't excel at some of those things listed, it's my job to help him develop that ability. But I've found that often the kids who come in with those positive traits as freshman are typically going to stay ahead of the kids who start out behind.

real green posted:  There is not a coach on this planet that will clearly define what best means.  So every coach in your opinion is being disingenuous or are afraid to tell the truth?  

 I didn’t say “clearly”, which implies cast in stone criteria.

 I’m sure there are plenty of coaches out there who feel it isn’t important that they tell anyone how they make those kinds of decisions, and I’m sure there are plenty who really don’t have a systematic way of going about it. But I’m also pretty sure there are plenty who have managed to communicate how they come up with the “best” players, so that most understand where they are in the pecking order and why.

 I had examples of each when I played and so did my son, so I know it’s possible.

Stats4Gnats posted:

real green posted:  There is not a coach on this planet that will clearly define what best means.  So every coach in your opinion is being disingenuous or are afraid to tell the truth?  

 I didn’t say “clearly”, which implies cast in stone criteria.

 I’m sure there are plenty of coaches out there who feel it isn’t important that they tell anyone how they make those kinds of decisions, and I’m sure there are plenty who really don’t have a systematic way of going about it. But I’m also pretty sure there are plenty who have managed to communicate how they come up with the “best” players, so that most understand where they are in the pecking order and why.

 I had examples of each when I played and so did my son, so I know it’s possible.

And.....   he has completely derailed yet another thread.   Perhaps an apology to the OP is in order.

For the record, Stats, you said...

"I don’t mind talent being how decisions are made, as long as talent is defined. If it can’t be defined it can’t be measured, and if can’t be measured how can it be used to make valid decisions?"

If that doesn't mean you're looking for clear definition, I don't know what does.   But, I know that you will argue that black and white is gray, so...   

Stats4Gnats posted:

ironhorse posted: Because some decisions simply have to be subjective. That's the nature of decision making sometimes.

 Which is exactly why there are so many problems with parents or players questioning why they don’t get the same opportunities as someone else.

It's my opinion that this is more of a reflection of the current structure in baseball.  Pay to play that is travel baseball has created the entitlement mentality.  Topped off by current funding in public schools that requires the continued financial support from the players parents.  Unlike 20 yrs ago, where all but the very few elite players were conditioned to the process of growing (sitting the bench) a year or two through rec as they aged into their division.   They went through this process two or three times before ever getting to HS.  Now every player entering HS for the most part has had a significant role on every team through youth.  IE players and parents don't know how to handle being the second or third guy on the depth chart.  They have no experience in the process and don't trust that they will get their shot.  The lack of trust than gets thrown at the coach.

20 years ago HS coaches never had to address this issue.  Kids came home and told their parents I am not getting much playing time, parents said work harder! Your a freshman on JV, keep putting your time in and trust you will get your shot.  

When you say the best 9 players will be on the field but you refuse to say how you come up with the best, to me it’s either being disingenuous or being afraid to tell the truth for fear of controversy.

The best 9 players or criteria are almost never the same and the variables are many.  Depending on the goal of the game, season, time in the season, opponent, and etc etc etc.  You can't expect the coach to need to communicate his every decision and you have to accept/trust he his trying to do what is best for the team, program, and than last but not least your son.    

I was just discussing this with my brother the other day.  When he went into college his freshman year, he only got spot time during the fall.  Never started and seemed to be way down on the depth chart.  He was one of those elite players that NEVER sat going through youth and HS sports.  He was ticked and didn't know how to handle.  All but threw in the towel thinking he was getting the shaft.  Come to find out all but a few of those Fall starting players got cut.  That was this coaches way of determining who could play from his B list.  Players that the coach was confident in didn't get much playtime because he already knew they were capable.  It was also a way for the coach to see who was willing to fight to get on the field.  What players from the bench (coaches A list players) would put in the extra work to earn playtime.  My brother was only in school for baseball.  When he thought he wasn't getting his shot he all but blew off classes and stopped working on his game.  When he found out he made the spring roster it was to late and he dropped out of school.

Two years later he walked on to another school and made the spring roster but never became an impact player.  He blew his shot and regrets it today.  

My point being you have to trust the coach is making the best decisions for the team, program, and the player even if you don't see how it.  The only thing you should be worried about is how to get better (in the coaches eyes) and trust you will be an asset.  

If the coach thinks swinging for the fences is the best than you better work on swinging for the fences.  

 

One other piece regarding coaches philosophy.  There are VERY few true impact players as you move into HS and beyond.  What I mean is if a player doesn't conform or appear to conform the guy behind him isn't that big of a drop in talent.  Every player is replaceable. 

cabbagedad posted: And.....   he has completely derailed yet another thread.   Perhaps an apology to the OP is in order.

For the record, Stats, you said...

"I don’t mind talent being how decisions are made, as long as talent is defined. If it can’t be defined it can’t be measured, and if can’t be measured how can it be used to make valid decisions?"

If that doesn't mean you're looking for clear definition, I don't know what does.   But, I know that you will argue that black and white is gray, so...   

Why is it that I’m the only one who didn’t stay precisely on thread that you say I’m the one derailing it?

The definition doesn’t need to be “clear” to be understood! Saying “talent” is how playing time decisions should be made is just looking for trouble unless the person making the decision has the stones to explain to people how the judgment will be made. There has to be some basis for putting one kid on the bench and another on the field.

I’ve seen plenty of players over the years who have tremendous talent but can’t translate it to performance on the field. Likewise, I’ve seen plenty of players who don’t have much talent be able to somehow have great success on the field. Perhaps at your school you have the luxury of ignoring performance and simply putting the players you feel are the most talented, but at the schools I’ve been associated with that’s seldom possible. Many times the coach will go with whoever’s got the “hot hand” or been contributing the most and the talented kid will find himself on the bench.

It isn’t 1930 anymore where the coach can say it’s my way or the highway and everyone bows his head in subservience! Somewhere along the line standards have to be communicated in such a way that the in such a way that they’re understood, or there will be problems.

How would you justify putting a kid at say short, who makes many physical and mental errors, and keeping him there when there are other players who’ve proven they perform better? Would you simply say the player I put there has more talent? Good luck if you do.

Management thinker Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that "you can't manage what you can't measure." Drucker means that you can't know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.

real green posted: He plays for a coach that says the best 9 players will play a majority of innings.  The point being talent trumps most but not all.  This player's character has such a negative impact on team chemistry that it negated his talent.  The stat coach used to justify it was the wins vs loses when he is in the lineup compared to when he is not.  

 So you’re saying talent equated to performance?

Golfman25 posted: I think it is actually easy.  Coach has to figure out what tools he favors. Does he like speed and small ball.  Or is he looking for mashers.  Measure those measurables -- speed, veto etc.  Then put them in places to succeed. Speed in CF, and strong arms in cf and rf.  Athletic with a strong arm at SS. Etc. etc.  Coaches get in trouble when they don't do it somewhat objectively.  For example, our coach has decided he's going with a young underclassman at CF next year.  Good kid and that's probably his future.  But he doesn't have a varsity arm yet.  It will be a cluster as coaches take the extra base.  

 I don’t disagree at all, but then again you’re agreeing with what I said. Performance can be measured, talent can’t.

ironhorse posted: I agree with your point in principle. We measure a ton of stuff for that exact reason. To me there are still a lot of "un-measurable" things that will happen with a player in a game, which is why a coach has to make a best guess based on complete skill sets as to who has the best chance to succeed in this spot and who gives the team the best chance to win. 

Things kids have to excel at that I have no way to truly measure objectively (although I've still try): Baseball IQ, dealing with adversity, responding to pressure, focus and re-focus, etc. Probably a lot more, but it's early for me.

This is a big fall for us trying to figure some of those things out for the Spring. Of course if a kid doesn't excel at some of those things listed, it's my job to help him develop that ability. But I've found that often the kids who come in with those positive traits as freshman are typically going to stay ahead of the kids who start out behind.

Please don’t take offense, but your post shows the big problem. It isn’t that there are so many unmeasurable things, it’s that there are a lot of things people don’t know how to measure. And it’s not just you! It’s all of us everywhere.

Take for instance those items you listed, Baseball IQ, … etc.. Somehow you make that measurement in your mind, but the truth is, like most of us you don’t do it consciously. You see something and it’s either true or false, good or bad, or whatever. In any case you make some kind of judgement.

What would be nice is if you had a personal scorer at your side all the time and you could just say Joey showed good Baseball IQ, Billy didn’t deal well with adversity, Tommy didn’t respond well to pressure, Eddie didn’t stay focused. Trouble is, those kinds of evaluations are happening hundreds of times during a game, and prolly even more. So chances are by the time you voice an evaluation you’re already making other ones. So what ends up happening is, rather than a hard number you can evaluate, all you  have is the memory of a perception, and everyone should already be aware how untrustworthy memory is.

A coach friend of mine does this. He’s put several things such as what you noted on a paper he carries in his back pocket. Then, after every half inning he goes down the list and notes each time he saw a player exhibited one of the things listed. He uses that paper in his after-game talks, and compiles them into stats he looks at as the season goes on. It’s a ton of work, but he tells me it’s been a very useful source to help him make decisions. I don’t know if that’s the “best” way to track those things, but at least it is a way.

Stats4Gnats posted:

 

What would be nice is if you had a personal scorer at your side all the time and you could just say Joey showed good Baseball IQ, Billy didn’t deal well with adversity, Tommy didn’t respond well to pressure, Eddie didn’t stay focused. Trouble is, those kinds of evaluations are happening hundreds of times during a game, and prolly even more. So chances are by the time you voice an evaluation you’re already making other ones. So what ends up happening is, rather than a hard number you can evaluate, all you  have is the memory of a perception, and everyone should already be aware how untrustworthy memory is.

 

I disagree. You're still dealing with a subjective measurement. I track that kind of stuff on a pad of paper or whiteboard, too, but it's my judgement. 

As a "stats" guy, please tell me how you quantify that Billy did or didn't deal well with adversity? How do you quantify if Tommy did or didn't respond well to pressure? Is it pass/fail? Is there a 20-80 scale on his reaction? And would we measure a general reaction, or consider the best Billy could have done compared to Tommy?

SS kicks a routine ground ball with a runner at 2b going to 3b. He decides the runner will be safe at 1b. He doesn't throw the ball to 1b. How did he do there?  Dad thinks he has a good baseball IQ because he held the ball. I think he failed because he didn't pump fake and check 3b. Or maybe he did and checked 3b but didn't throw when he had the runner caught off guard? 

The whole game is subjective. No one has fun arguments about who the fastest man in the world is at the moment. The stop watch is objective. Some days I wish I coached track.

ironhorse posted: I disagree. You're still dealing with a subjective measurement. I track that kind of stuff on a pad of paper or whiteboard, too, but it's my judgement. 

As a "stats" guy, please tell me how you quantify that Billy did or didn't deal well with adversity? How do you quantify if Tommy did or didn't respond well to pressure? Is it pass/fail? Is there a 20-80 scale on his reaction? And would we measure a general reaction, or consider the best Billy could have done compared to Tommy?

SS kicks a routine ground ball with a runner at 2b going to 3b. He decides the runner will be safe at 1b. He doesn't throw the ball to 1b. How did he do there?  Dad thinks he has a good baseball IQ because he held the ball. I think he failed because he didn't pump fake and check 3b. Or maybe he did and checked 3b but didn't throw when he had the runner caught off guard? 

The whole game is subjective. No one has fun arguments about who the fastest man in the world is at the moment. The stop watch is objective. Some days I wish I coached track.

Subjective, sure. But what’s better? Keeping track of it or relying on memory?

And look at it this way. Those same things are gonna be weighed by every coach to some extent. At least if you’ve taken the time to think about it enough to track it, you won’t be pulling something out of thin air under the guise of the “ol’ eye test”. The eye test is like any other test. There’s a right and wrong way to go, and the validity of it depends on the criteria and their application.

It doesn’t matter how I would quantify it because I’m not the one using it. Look, you’re gonna make that judgement weather you track it or not or whether you’ve developed good criteria or not. As I’ve said about a million times, do you trust your memory or something written down?

How about this. It’s the final week of the HSV season and you’re the HC. Before the game the HC of one of the local JCs approaches you and asks you how Billy deals with adversity and how he responds to pressure. Will your answer be more trustworthy if you just spit out an answer based on memory of the last 4 months of games and practices, or if you’ve continually kept track of what had been going on even if it was only your judgment that established the criteria? Like I keep saying, you’re gonna do the same thing whether you do it based on memory or notes you’ve taken.

It really doesn’t matter what dad thinks because no one’s gonna call him up and ask him! It matters what you think, and you’re gonna make that judgement no matter what. To me, the only difference is how precise you want to be, and the same is true for any statistics. So if the SS did a no-no, that’s what becomes part of his record. But here’s the problem with counting on memory.

Let’s say it’s the 5th game of the year and for some reason the game is meaningful. There are 2 down in the bottom of the final inning and you’re ahead by a run. The bases are loaded and the SS does exactly what you described and you lose the game. Even if the rest of the year the kid doesn’t make those mistakes again, what are you gonna remember if you get asked about him? Or how about if the SS has been great all season long, seldom if ever making a mistake like that, but it’s the final game of the playoffs and for whatever reason he screws up and you lose the game and are forced to watch the other team’s dogpile.

That’s why it’s nice to have something that gives context. It’s difficult to do that when all you base your judgements on is memory.

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